The swing gently swings, lulling me, counteracting the two cups of coffee I just had. Stress and anxiety drain from my limbs. The slight breeze, warmed by the hot summer sun and softened by humidity, feels like silk on my bare arms and legs. A chorus is sung by the trees whispering to each other, leaves stirred by the movement of the air. Birdsong is the melody.
A huge beetle, almost as big as a kiwi (or so it seems), buzzing loudly and flying heavy and slow, takes a run at my head, causing me to duck and run. It keeps coming back. This time I scream and run inside for Carm. I'm all for live and let live, until my head is the target. This B52 wasn't going to ruin my day.
Where was I? Oh yeah. Lulled.
The barn, clad in tarnished sterling silver with a brightly polished roof, sits on the left edge of my view down to the river and beyond. I can't see the water, but know its course from the trees along its edge. There are two small hills framing my sightline to the river. We call the closest one 'lookout'. From its crest we can see the creek and our bottom land. The other is 'homestead', named for the broken down stone foundation that litters the crown. Before we built the house we would picnic there. Now it is overgrown with noxious weeds.
The old sand ring sits between the swing and the barn, overgrown with grass, burrs, and pretty yellow flowers, some Queen Anne's lace off to one side. The silvered cedar fence posts have started to lean. It has been several years since they contained the herd of golden horses.
Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~Henry James